Survey Finds Ransomware Top Cybersecurity Concern For Only 15 Percent of Small Business Executives

ATLANTA, June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — As ransomware cyber incidents escalate, a national survey found only 15 percent of small business executives leading companies with revenues up to $100 million per year are primarily concerned they would have to pay cyber criminals to restore their computer systems in the event of an attack.

The survey, sponsored by Group Salus, an Atlanta-based startup developing an artificial intelligence-driven incident management response system, polled more than 200 executives managing small and medium-sized companies in a cross-section of industries.

Close to 40 percent of the companies had experienced a cyberattack with nearly half, 45 percent, reporting they lost customer data and 27 percent saying they lost a significant amount of money because of the attack.

“Nearly 45 percent of small and medium-sized businesses suffered a cyber incident in 2019 with an average financial impact of $200,000 each,” said Group Salus CEO Larry Lafferty. “Couple this with research that shows ransomware attacks have increased more than 50 percent since 2019 and small business executives who believe they won’t have to pay, one way or another, for a cyber breech are not being realistic.”

Lafferty added, “Just as importantly, the damage to the reputation of the businesses or organizations can be long-term with research showing that a significant number of companies are out of business within a year of the attack.”    

The Group Salus survey, fielded March 30 to April 2, 2021, with the Centiment respondent panel, also found that 30 percent of the SMB executives most feared losing irreplaceable data in a cyber incident and 25 percent are most concerned about losing customers permanently because of a loss of trust in their organizations.

The cloud-based Salus AI Incident Manager will enable smaller companies to identify the resources, people and organizational structure they will need to prepare for a cyber incident, then guides them step-by-step to both mitigate the attack and develop and execute a communications strategy that will help reduce potential harm to their reputations that could result in a loss of revenue.

The Salus product will allow companies to automatically assess their cyber response readiness, construct a viable response plan, and practice simulated cyber incidents. When an incident occurs, the customizable Salus solution will guide the response team through all aspects of issue management, assign and track tasks, automatically log the history of the incident, alert identified stakeholders, provide access to proprietary and professionally prepared communications templates and materials including press releases, FAQs, letters to customers, etc. The software platform will also serve as a storage site for critical contact information.

Also, through the future integration of the Ansanon® survey capability into the Salus platform, key stakeholders will provide baseline data on perception of companies’ cyber-posture, attention to cybersecurity and corporate reputation. If a client company is attacked, the Salus platform will field additional questions with relevant stakeholders, gauging the extent of reputational damage – a unique feature among incident response products.

Last year, Group Salus announced a joint development partnership with Veloxiti AI Works and the two companies have created the initial technology platform for the product. They are in the process of identifying potential investors as well as beginning to preview the solution with small and medium-sized companies to garner input as they refine the solution’s features and function.

Veloxiti AI Works’ artificial intelligence technologies were developed over many years with the U.S. Department of Defense. Veloxiti recently received an investment for use of this technology in financial applications. The company is bringing those advanced capabilities to the commercial marketplace. With Veloxiti AI Works’ solutions, human decision-making can be greatly enhanced, skilled workers’ performance amplified, and the promise of “Big Data” based solutions made a reality.

Ansanon® “truly anonymous surveys” via web yield candid, trustworthy feedback from people whose identities literally cannot be linked to their survey responses – especially important when gathering potentially sensitive or critical feedback from people who which to remain unidentified. Ansanon products support collection of uninhibited employee satisfaction and engagement data, student evaluation of instructors and courses and other settings where risk of identification could suppress people’s comfort in sharing candid feedback.

Group Salus was founded by Scott Marticke, Mark Goldman and William Marks who have more than 100 years of combined marketing, branding and corporate communications experience. Group Salus’ Advisory Board also includes:

  • Benn Konsynski – George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor of Information Systems & Operations at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
  • Jon Nieditz – Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Atlanta, and one of the country’s preeminent incident management attorneys.
  • Robert Jackson – Former Global Chief Information Security Officer of Sedgwick Claims Management Services,
  • Darrin Reynolds – Former head of Amazon’s Emerging Regulations program for the corporate Information Security Team.
  • Gary Cooper – Founder and Managing Partner of Aptitude Ventures.
  • Ken Bernhardt – Former Professor of Marketing and Taylor E. Little, Jr. Professor of Marketing, and Chairman of the Marketing Department at Georgia State University.
  • Kelly Caffarelli – First president of the Home Depot Foundation, a position she held for over a decade.
  • Karen Robinson – Longtime technology entrepreneur who has built several companies including Nanolumens, also led the development of Opportunity International, a successful global micro-finance organization.
  • Jennifer Ready — Founder and Partner at Narwhal Digital with 20 years in digital marketing.

For more information on the new Group Salus AI Incident Manager or the survey contact: [email protected].

Media Contact

William Marks, Group Salus Inc., +1 470-417-6457, [email protected]


SOURCE Group Salus Inc.

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